Recovery Act Spurring Loan Activity to Small Businesses

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Booksellers can learn how to gain access to capital at BEA session on the Economic Stimulus Package

Though the economic crisis continues to put financial pressure on small businesses, there are indicators that things could be looking up for small businesses. Small business initiatives included in the Obama Administration's stimulus package appear to be opening the credit markets for small businesses, according to Karen Mills, administrator for the Small Business Administration, speaking at a U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Booksellers can find out how to take advantage of the small business programs in the Recovery Act to garner much-need capital at ABA's session, "How SBA and the Federal Stimulus Package Can Help Your Business," to be held at BookExpo America on Saturday, May 30, from 10:30 a.m. - noon, at the Javits Convention Center. The featured speaker at this important event is Ana M. Ma, chief of staff at SBA.

"Amid news that the economic recession actually deepened in the first quarter 2009 and that rising unemployment is prompting consumers to conserve cash, it's more imperative than ever that small businesses find access to capital to help their businesses weather the current economic crisis," said Oren Teicher, ABA COO. "The Recovery Act has provided SBA the funds to offer a number of programs to help booksellers obtain access to much-needed capital that could help them weather the current crisis. I think this session could be really important for our member bookstores."

Teicher also encouraged any bookseller who has taken advantage of SBA loans via the Recovery Act and who would like to share the experience with other booksellers at the SBA session at BookExpo America or in Bookselling This Week to contact ABA Public Policy Liaison David Grogan at [email protected].

On Wednesday, Small Business Committee held a hearing to provide a progress report on small business financing through the Recovery Act. And while economic news remains grim, SBA administrator Mills reported that, due to the federal stimulus package, in the last two months loan volume has increased. Mills also stated that the website will soon offer small businesses a list of all the sub-contracting opportunities to make it easier for businesses.

In addition, Mills stressed that the Obama Administration clearly supports small businesses and understands their current plight. "I'm pleased to say that the Treasury is very proactive about [helping] small businesses," Mills told the committee. She said that SBA and the Treasury share the frustrations of small businesses in regards to the "difficulty in getting credit.... But there is a strong commitment" to small businesses. --David Grogan